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Blue Ribbon Cheesecake at West Gate in Nyack

Baker Lisa Dosch in hotel eatery lands two blue ribbons at NJ State Fair

Off of Route 59 in Nyack is the hotel, and nestled inside is the family-owned .

It's a small eatery, but many a veteran Nyacker knows it's worth more than one visit.

And if further proof is need, the restaurant's baker and dessert doyenne Lisa Dosch just secured major accolades—two of Dosch's cheesecakes placed first at this year's State Fair in New Jersey.

"I've been known for my cheesecakes for years, and spur-of-the-moment decided to enter the State Fair," Dosch said. Some of her treats can weigh up to seven pounds.

Dosch applied under two categories: plain with no topping, and flavored. And she snagged the blue ribbon—twice. A total of five judges sampled her cheesecakes.

"When they announced my name as winner of the plain, I was so excited," Dosch said. "But when they then announced the winner of the flavored, I could not believe that I won first place in two categories."

The pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap pecan crust landed Dosch the flavored win.

On her home turf in Nyack, Dosch's treats are just as popular. They're available by the slice or by the pie, and in cherry, blueberry, strawberry, chocolate chip and more. Some folks come exclusively for the desserts, sometimes trecking all the way from Connecticut.

"I once had a customer taste my blueberry cheesecake—I put fresh blueberries inside the cheesecake—and he asked, 'are there drugs in this cheesecake?'" Dosch joked.

"I tell everyone the way to eat the cheesecake is to let it melt in your mouth, and savour the flavor," she added.

Dosch bakes her confections by hand about twice each week year round, generally putting out between two and eight weekly. Or, for the curious, around 42-pounds of cheesecake every seven days.

The West Gate Restaurant has been in Dosch's family for about 40 years, and the hotel for almost 50.

"We have three generations working here," Dosch said. Dosch works alongside her father, her two brothers and sister, and a passel of nieces and nephews.

Dosch's paintings of the Hudson Valley hang in the hotel's lobby. In the dining area, the two new ribbons will soon hang proudly.

But the ribbons are just the first of many, Dosch promises. Her quest is only beginning—the fair was her first contest, and she only hatched her recipe four years ago. In mid-September, she'll venture to northern New York to compete in the Kraft Cream Cheese Festival in Lowsville.

Her vision reaches beyond awards, though. She's already had one inquiry from afar—a gentleman in Italy interested in having a cheesecake shipped internationally. Now, all Dosch has to figure out are the logistics.

"We are looking to expand," she laughed.

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You can visit the West Gate Restuarant's website here.

Katie Berry September 03, 2012 at 05:18 PM
And, she's the nicest person! Congratulations, Lisa!
Kevin Zawacki (Editor) September 04, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Lisa was kind enough to let me sample the prize-winning cakes. There's no doubt in my mind she deserves those blue ribbons!

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